Housekeeping: This morning's run is again at Copley Community Park, 3232 Copley Road in Copley. We'll meet in the second parking lot. We'll start at 9 a.m., and we'll take a vote on whether to move to 8 a.m. on future Saturdays. This will be the last group run before our June 24 race. We will be headed to Barberton and the Towpath Trail after that. Stay tuned for details.



A racing bib is the ultimate multitasker. It records your speed, serves you food, pours you beer, looks after your belongings, and calls your loved ones in an emergency. Okay it might need a little help, but those things aren't happening without it.

So let's take a closer look.

On the back of your bib is your emergency contact information. You provided this name and phone number when you registered for the race, but look and make sure it's still the best choice. If you have a friend or family member on site as a spectator, for instance, that might be a better choice and one you didn't anticipate when you signed up. Go ahead and make any change to this information on the back of your bib. Make sure you print clearly.

Also on the back of your bib is a chip that uniquely identifies you to the race timing system. Your personal time doesn't begin until you cross the starting line mat that trips the chip. Likewise, when you pass a similar mat at the finish line, it will record how long you took to complete the course.  Don't cut or bend your bib in a way that will damage this disposable chip.

On the bottom front of your bib are perforated tickets for food and drink. After the race, strip them off. Turn the food ticket in for a Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich and a banana. If you are registered for the 8k, there will be three beer tickets; underage runners can use them for rootbeer. If you are registered for the 1 mile, there is one rootbeer ticket. Additional drink tickets can be purchased at Gate 2 for cash only; a photo ID is required to purchase additional beer tickets.

To the left of your bib is another perforated tag that says Gear Check, along with your bib number. If you do not plan on using a gear check bag, you can discard this. Otherwise,  this tag will be tied to the clear plastic bag you picked up on packet day. You cannot check any other bag. You must use the gear check bag provided at packet pickup.

Here are the types of things some runners bring and check in so they are available immediately after the race: A dry shirt so you're more comfortable hanging out at the Finisher Festival. A towel. A fresh hat. Sunglasses. Flip flops. A comb. An energy bar or additional food items. Layers worn for a cool or rainy morning but not wanted during the run.

These are things you do NOT want to put in the gear check bag: Your cellphone. Money or valuables. Car keys. Anything breakable.

Gear check is at Section 112 on the concourse inside Infocision Stadium. That's the west side of the stadium (the same side as the starting line outside.) Look for the tall "Gear Check" flags and check in your bag after you arrive on race day.

All items left at the event will be taken to the Information Booth inside Gate 2 at the stadium. If you notice you're missing something while you are still at the stadium, go there. If you don't know until after you've left, call the Akron Marathon office at (330) 434-2786. Items will be held for two weeks after race day. Then they are donated to a local charity.

- Paula